Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Snapshots of India, Continued: Lord of the Flies

At times, there were so many kids at Conrad’s Mom’s house it felt like Lord of the Flies! They ran in packs. The Michael children seem to be born in two’s. So there is Arnold (8 years) and Alistair (7 years), followed by Alana (3 years) and Isabelle (2 years), then Grace (6 months) and Aaron (5 months).

So it went like this: Alana is used to being the little queen of the house. She runs things, and really has been the baby for all her years. Enter Isabelle. Isabelle is strong willed, and let’s face it, a bit of a bully when it comes to getting her way. These two were like oil and vinegar. There was constant confrontation from day one!

Arnold and Alistair’s job was to keep the smaller girls safe and happy. So, Alana cries, Alistair gets in trouble, Isabelle cries, Alistair get’s in trouble, Alistair cries, Alistair get’s in trouble. Being the oldest is so unfair. I should know.

It also didn’t take Isabelle long to discover how to escape. Before any of us would realize, Isabelle would have slipped out of the house and up the outside staircase, up four flights of stairs and onto the roof. OR, better yet, she slipped the latch out of the outside gate and took off down the street…and around the corner!
The boys job was to chase her down, cajole her back, or as more often was the case, come back to tell Danielle Auntie that Isabelle refused to cooperate and to come and get her uncooperative child.

At one point, Isabelle actually BIT Alistair on the tummy! He had to go get a tentus shot. BIT HIM! To my knowledge, Isabelle has never bit anyone, ever…except Alistair. When we left the boys where like, “THANK GOD SHE’S GOING HOME! Bring her back when she grows up!” Who can blame them?

But we did have a good time with the kids. I brought a twister game which was endless fun for Arnold and Alistair and VERY entertaining for us grown ups, especially when Conrad and a few other adults got involved!

I also brought an egg decorating kit and had stuffed a few dozen plastic eggs with candy and packed it. I told the boys about it but wouldn’t show them the stash. They were chomping at the bit to do the Easter Egg hunt and LOVED it when we did it. Conrad had to literally hold the boys back before we let them go to search for eggs. They had never colored eggs or done an Easter Egg hunt! How fun!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Goodbye to Tata

This week has been crazy. For the two of you who aren't on facebook and didn't know, Conrad's Dad passed away. We got back from India on Sunday the 4th, we were home less than a week and we got a call on Saturday early morning saying Dad had passed away.

Luckily the night before Isabelle had gone home with my mom and dad to spend a couple of days and we had some free time to search for a quick plane ticket, pack, and get Conrad BACK on a plane to India on Easter Sunday.

Although he didn't make the funeral, he was relieved he could be home with his mom and family during this time. I think it's got to be really difficult to be so far from home during a time like this.

So, we, once again, talked my Grandma into coming to stay with us and help out, which made things MUCH easier! We are at my parent's now, dropping Grandma off home. We'll head home tonight and then pick up Conrad tommorrow! Yeah! We sure miss our honey!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Snapshots of Inda: Grace

Although I have been a bit delinquent I think it’s important to note that we started Grace on rice cereal, per the suggestion of Super Baby Foods, last month. She’s really groovin’ on food thing, and if you don’t get it to her fast enough, she actually cries. My happy baby cries! We so rarely hear her cry that we almost think it’s cute when she does. And we usually rush to soothe her and are quickly rewarded with another smile, in the midst of tears. What a pleasure compliant children are!

While we were in India, Isabelle dumped out most of the rice cereal I had brought for Grace, so we decided to introduce bananas into her diet. And she loves her some bananas too! Although she was constipated for several days AFTER her first couple banana meals, everything is now flowing as it should be and our baby is a happy eater.

Grace also cut her first two teeth while she was in India! Everyone kept calling her “laughing doll.” And since she is THE white grandchild, she looks like a vanilla ice cream cone in the midst of chocolate! It was so fun to introduce her to everyone, and especially to her Grandparents!

Conrad’s brother and sister-in-law, Alfred and Sudha are Grace’s Godparents. We asked Alfred right after Grace was born. In the course of conversation during our trip (nearly 6 months after Grace’s birth), Sudha came to find out that she was Grace’s God mother for the first time. Apparently, Alfred had never shared that fact with his wife. What is it with men and communication? We laughed about the Michael brothers and wondered WHAT they actually talk about when they talk.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Snapshots of India: Isabelle

Isabelle is my beautiful Indian baby. My Sister-in-Law, Sudha, put a bindi on her forehead while we were there a couple of days and boy, she really looked like a little Indian beauty.

Isabelle is also two. You should be able to read the implied in that simple sentence. Suffice to say, jet lag took its toll on her, hence on us as well! She didn’t stop getting up at 4am until about nine days into our trip. Not to mention, she had terrible two melt downs hourly. But, once we hit home, she mellowed out immediately. I think she was missing the routine and familiar. Actually, she was nearly comatose after 30 hours of travel. Grace? Still smiling, even after all of that travel!

During the first couple of days in India Isabelle discovered the auto rickshaw. Most of the auto’s you see are the bright yellow color of school buses here. The first time she really saw them was when the “Auto Uncle” came to pick up her cousins, Alistair and Alana for school. It’s a hired driver, who picks up kids, like a school bus. He patiently waits at each house for 5-6 minutes for each family to finish getting their kids ready for school! So Isabelle naturally thought these auto’s were school buses. Her Atta even took her out one morning and let her sit in the “School bus” with the other kids before they left. She was so excited!

Auto’s are the main mode of transportation in India. Just imagine…no car seat, no seat belts, no windows, no doors….45 – 50 mph. LOTS of insane traffic, no traffic laws. Good times. And my friends wonder why I’m so laid back about “car seat” drama in the US.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Home Again

Coming home from this trip to India was indeed bitter sweet. I was, personally, never so glad to see our little white house after 30 hours of travel, two and a half weeks of hot and humid A.C. free weeks, and a rather cranky toddler who never quite got over jet lag.

But, I don't think I can quite describe how difficult it was for Conrad to say good-bye to his father. While we were there he declined rather quickly and we are almost certain that this was the last time we would see him on this side of eternity. It was hard for me, but this is the man who raised my husband...and he's on the otherside of the world.

In the next few days I'll try to give a few snapshots of our trip to India. In the meantime, pray for Conrad's dad, and Conrad. He continues to decline, and we imagine Conrad will be making another trip to India soon.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hot & Steamy India

I thought I would let you all know that we arrived safley in India last Sunday. It has been a steamy 100 degrees or so here. No a.c. I have decided that I am indeed getting my Teen Mania days I would have said to my teens, "Please don't state the obvious. We know it's hot." Now I whine.."It's so hot."

We are having a good time visiting with family and spending some quality time with Conrad's dad. He's not doing too well, and we are praying for...well...for God's will to be done and that we spend well the time we have.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you'll be happy to know that we found the large chunk of change we the LAST minute. We were at the United ticket counter checking it and there it was!! God is good!